The winner of the Ted Hughes award on the poetry collections that influenced him and how George Orwell made him realise he needed to travel
The book I am currently reading
I always have to read an autobiography, alongside a poetry collection, alongside a novel. At the moment, I’m reading Miles Davis’s autobiography. I love it but it’s hugely problematic. If we’re going to talk about taking down people like R Kelly and Michael Jackson, we’ve got to talk about Davis.And I’ve just started reading Lanny by Max Porter and Rebecca Tamas’s poetry collection, Witch.
The book that changed my life
Burmese Days by George Orwell. I was 17 when I read that book and it made me realise that whatever I did with my life, I had to travel. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M Pirsig was the longest book I’d ever read at that point and it gave me confidence as a reader because it was proof that I could sustain that kind of concentration. In terms of poetry, I wasn’t sure I wanted to write a book until I read There Is an Anger That Moves by Kei Miller.
I read White Teeth and On Beauty by Zadie Smith when I’m away from England – they always bring me back to LondonContinue reading...